A few weeks back I took part in Inktober, a drawing challenge started by American artist Jake Parker in 2009. He set himself the task of coming up with a new pen & ink drawing every day in October to help develop positive drawing habits & improve his inking skills. Since then the challenge has evolved somewhat into a big thing and thousands of artists all over the world join in every year, posting their efforts daily on Instagram.
More info on Inktober here – The Inktober Initiative
I noticed lots of Inktober stuff happening on Instagram last year, and on October 1st I decided on a whim to give it a go this time! I used to draw a lot when I was younger, yet don’t seem to get round to it much anymore. As a kid I’d start drawing without considering whether it was going right or wrong… now if I start something with the intention of it being a proper drawing and not just a random doodle, I seem to overthink what I’m doing and how it’s going to turn out, and sometimes I just don’t start at all! Why does that happen as you get older?!
There are a list of official prompts which get released every year, which I stuck to only occasionally.
Mainly I just went with the flow and drew whatever came to mind. I decided to stick with the first idea I had and finish it, instead of starting again if I felt it was going wrong! Otherwise no doubt I’d have restarted drawings numerous times and never actually finished anything. Proud to say I somehow actually managed to stick with the challenge all the way through, which I was quite surprised about!
This was day one. It was based on one of those Fisher Price pop-up Jack in the Box clowns you used to get as a child. 🤡🤡
I wasn’t all that pleased with any of the first nine I drew, except for the dolphins! And the ninth one itself turned out particularly odd and freaked me out a bit. The first few days it was really hard to post the drawings up on Instagram as it felt a bit weird with everybody seeing them.
I feel like the next lot came out slightly better. In particular I was quite happy with this one I did of the Dave Clark Five. Took me ages to do all that cross hatching though.
The koalas and kangaroos picture on day 13 was based on an old postcard I found in a charity shop where a kangaroo had been really badly superimposed next to some koalas.
The tooth on day 18 was to celebrate the end of five months of ongoing root canal treatment! Hooray!
By the 3rd set I feel like I’d got on a bit of a roll. Day 22 was a picture of Big Daddy, based on the 1983 annual which I found on the bookshelf when searching for inspiration.
Here are the third set together. The good thing about doing Inktober was that you never knew where each day would take you! I can’t even remember what prompted me to draw Bruce Lee, Mary Hopkin or Ed Sheeran. However the fish were inspired by a trip to Hull and the Alan Boyson BHS Mural.
This dog picture is actually just a drawing of two dog ornaments, side by side with an inpirational quote around them.
Here are the last few…
I managed to stick to my rule of completing the first thing I drew until the last day when I felt extremely uninspired and ended up drawing a picture of the Pope which was particularly bad. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it and after that I didn’t get the pens out again until November 5th when I had a strong urge to draw Alvin Stardust. I must say I’m glad I waited as I think Alvin turned out to be my best work.
Ps. Check out the Alvin Stardust wikipedia page. It will blow your mind when you find out that Alvin wasn’t even the original Alvin.
Anyway, now it’s over I do feel glad I joined in on Inktober. It was quite stressful at times trying to keep up with it, and I hated it for the first week, but it’s the most drawing I’ve done in ages and I’m going to do some more soon I think.
Check out all the pictures individually, as they happened, over on my Instagram >>> Magic Town Midway